Naval History and Heritage Command

Naval History and Heritage Command

Admiral William S. Benson, Chief of Naval Operations, to Various Officers in United States Waters


                         NAVY DEPARTMENT

                    OFFICE OF NAVAL OPERATIONS

                            Washington              16 August 1918.

To:  Commandants 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th Naval Districts.

     Commander-in-Chief Atlantic Fleet,

     Commander Cruiser Force, Atlantic Fleet,

     Commander Submarine Force, Atlantic Fleet,

     Commander Special Anti-Submarine Force, (U.S.S. JOUETT)

                                      , (U.S.S. SALEM)1

SUBJECT: Patrol Areas for U. S. Submarines.

Reference: (a) Op.Nav. letter No. S-18-1358/1 of 16 August 1918.2

     1.   The following patrol areas are established for anti-submarine patrol by U.S. Submarines. This information is to be imparted to such vessels and forces as are concerned, but is to be restricted to those particular areas only which are included in their prospective operations. The areas are to be laid down on charts only to the extent required by local administration and operations, and such charts are to be carefully guarded; the less appearing on charts the better the chances of maintaining necessary secrecy.

     2.   Open Sea Areas for Special Patrols.

(Administered entirely by Chief of Naval Operations.)

Area V. No northern or eastern limit <lat. 43°> West limit is long.68° South limit is lat. 41°30’. Routes to and from Provincetown to lie within First District N. or S. of Areas 45-71 and 72.

Area W. No eastern limit; north limit is lat. 41°; west limit is long. 68°; south limit is lat. 39°. Route to and from Block Island to be north of lat. 40°30’ or between lats. 39° and 39° 30’ to long. 71° 15’ and thence to or from Block Island.

Area X. No eastern limit; North limit is lat. 39°; West limit is Long. 72°; South limit is lat. 38°. Route to and from Block Island to be between long. 71°30’ and 72°.

Area Y. No eastern limit; North limit is lat. 38°; West limit is Long. 73°; South limit is Lat. 36°. Route to and from Delaware Bay is to be most direct route keeping clear of Area 58-17 and 36.

Area Z. No eastern limit; north limit is Lat. 36°; West limit is long. 74°; South limit is lat 34°. (Southern limit may be specially extended.) Route to and from Delaware Bay is to be by most direct route, keeping clear of Areas 56-17 and 36.

     3.   Off Shore Areas for Ordinary Submarine Patrols.

(Areas to be occupied will be designated by Chief of Naval Operations. Otherwise to be administered by naval Districts in which submarines are based – includes arranging necessary convoys and routes in and out.)

Areas are as per squared chart.3 Naval Operations.

Chart No. 11.

Area 45-71.

Area 45-72.

Area 45-92 southern half and

Area 45-91 southern half and

Area 57 -2 northern half,

Area 57 – 1 northern half.

Area 44-100 southern half and

Area 56 – 8

Area 56- 10 northern half

Area 56- 17

Area 56-36

Area 56-46

Area 56-64


Area 56-82

Area 56-91

Area 68-31 excent its

Area 68-51

Western one third.

Area 67-70

Area 67-67


W. S. Benson.      

Source Note: Cy, DNA, RG 45, Entry 517B. Identifiers “Op 51-B.” and “S-18-1358/2.” appear on the left side of the first page. Addressed below close: “Copy to Comdr. [Guy E. Davis, Commander,] Submarine Division Eight,/Secret File Room,/Captain [John C.] Thompkins, U.S.N.,/Captain [Thomas C.] Hart, U.S.N.,/Comdr. [Walter B.] Woodson, U.S.N.”

Footnote 1: Commandants: RAdm. Spencer D. Wood, 1st; Commo. James P. Parker, 2nd; RAdm. Nathaniel R. Usher, 3rd; Capt. George F. Cooper, 4th; RAdm. Augustus F. Fechteler, 5th; RAdm. Frank E. Beatty, 6th; and RAdm. William B. Fletcher, 7th Naval Districts. Adm. Henry T. Mayo, Commander-in-Chief, Atlantic Fleet; RAdm. Albert T. Gleaves, Commander, Cruiser Force; Capt. Samuel Robison, Commander, Submarine Force; Lt. Cmdr. John K. Richards Jr., Commander, U.S. Destroyer JOUETT; Cmdr. Stephen V. Graham, Commander, U.S. Scout Cruiser SALEM.